Electronic Information Resources and Acceptable Use

Electronic Information Resources and Acceptable Use


The electronic information resources (EIRs) at the College are to be used in a manner that supports the educational mission of the College.  The College, by mission and policy, encourages learning, research, creativity, teaching and the free exchange of ideas in a climate of openness and sharing.  EIRs are an important tool in fulfilling the College's mission statement, strategic plan, and distance learning goals. 

The College has established measures for the protection, access, responsibility and acceptable use of EIRs.  These electronic resources are intended to support the College mission and use of these resources shall be consistent with that mission.  In general, the same ethical conduct that applies to the use of all College facilities applies to the use of electronic media.  Users must show respect for College property, consideration for others, responsibility for action, and authorized and efficient use of College resources.  Users must refrain from any use not consistent with the policies, purposes or objectives of the College.

Definitions

  1. Authorized Accounts

    Username or password pairs or similar codes or code devices, such as copy cards, allow a user access to an EIR.  Authorized accounts are for individual use on campus and will be assigned by the Information Support Services department.

  2. Electronic Information Resources (EIRs)

    EIRs are all College owned electronic hardware, software and associated data that support the following administrative information systems: desktop computing, library automation, multi-media, data, video and voice networks, electronic mail (E-mail), Internet access and service, modems, scanners, telephone systems, voice mail, copy machines, fax machines, electronic publications including video, CD ROMs, or any similar electronic based functionality.

  3. User

    Any person authorized to use EIRs at the College.


Policy and Acceptable Usage

In order to make possible the widest use of EIRs and related technologies, a set of shared understandings and rules is necessary for all users.  In general, the same ethical conduct that applies to the use of all College facilities and equipment applies to the use of EIRs.  This includes but is not limited to: Users must show respect for the College property, consideration of others, responsibility for actions, and authorized and efficient use of College resources.  In addition, users of EIRs should have a basic understanding of applicable laws including copyright protections.

The following specifically apply to an EIRs at the College:

  1. At all times, EIRs must be used in compliance with international, federal, state and local laws.

  2. EIRs are to be used through authorized accounts as stated above.  Users must not share their authorized accounts.  Users must not use College EIRs to make unauthorized entry into other electronic information resources that are maintained either at the College or outside of the College.  Attempts to access unauthorized machines via the computer network, to decrypt encrypted materials, or to obtain privileges which the user is not entitled (hacking) is prohibited.  If a user knowingly or carelessly makes their password available to others, they may still be held accountable for any actions that may arise from use of their account by another individual.  Authorization for access will be canceled when either a student terminates enrollment; an employee separates from or changes job assignments outside the scope of the College or when unauthorized or unacceptable uses occur.  The College reserves the right to revoke uses at anytime.

  3. Users should respect the privacy of other users by not inspecting, broadcasting or modifying EIRs assigned to individuals without permission from the College or the subject user.

  4. EIRs must be used for College related purposes, research and activities.  The computer services department must approve all moves of or changes to equipment/software.  Use for commercial purposes is neither authorized nor supported.  Privately owned personal computers are the responsibility of the owner and not the College.  Ownership and use of personal equipment on campus, does not exempt the user from compliance with the policy.

  5. The College does not guarantee that messages, data or files on EIRs are private or secure.  Data, messages and files on College owned EIRs belong to the College and are the property of the College.  The College has the legal right to inspect E-mail that is sent on or off campus, files and data.  For this reason, all Users are warned that information of a personal, confidential or privileged nature should not be communicated by EIRs.

  6. Mass electronic mailing or voice mails to the entire campus must have Dean or President approval.

  7. Users are cautioned that :

    a.    Information, messages and files on EIRs are preserved through access controls and data assignments;

    b.    System capabilities may not be reestablished within a short time frame if loss or damage by accident, malfunction, breach of security, or natural disaster occurs, and;

    c.     Actual or attempted breaches of security may be detected promptly.  Network and EIR activity will be monitored for purposes of maintaining system performance and security.

  8. College owned EIRs are generally not open to the public.  EIRs located in the library and TVCC's web pages are EIRs that are used by the public or for public communication.  A user may not authorize public release of information, messages or data on College owned EIRs without the permission of the College.  It is recognized that data may be shared among users whose work can be done more effectively by knowledge of such information and data.  Access to College data is not approved for use outside of a user's official College responsibilities and duties.

  9. No one shall block approved access or attempt to degrade performance of any EIR.

  10. To maintain a professional working and education environment consistent with the College's non-harassment policy, access to certain material is blocked on some College owned EIRs.  Users are prohibited from sending or displaying messages or images that are reasonably vulgar, libelous, patently offensive, sexually explicit, or that intimidate, threaten, demean or harass individuals or groups, or that would otherwise bring discredit to the College.  Should employees and users receive material such as a message, pictures, or suggestion, that is offensive, tell the originator that the material is unwelcome and offensive; ask that no more material be sent.  If the originator continues, submit a complaint in writing to the Affirmative Action Officer or Dean of Student Services.

  11. No one shall knowingly introduce invasive computer software, such as viruses, on media that is brought to the College.

  12. Students should report violations of this policy to the Dean of Student Services.


Users of College EIRs must not use these resources to:

  1. Violate any College policies or international, federal, state, or city laws;

  2. Seek unauthorized access to another user's computer account or date; modify, inspect or broadcast another user's files or date without authorized permission from that user;

  3. Profit from commercial purposes;

  4. Send or display to others materials that might be considered harassing, intimidating, abusive or offensive;

  5. Attach material (or references to material) to software or documents viewable or used by others that may be considered harassing, intimidating, abusive or offensive;

  6. Solicit for groups unrelated to the College;

  7. Disrupt the function of the Network or other EIRs.


Users of College EIRs must:

  1. Use the resources only in ways which are consistent with the mission, policies, purposes and objectives of the College; and

  2. Indemnify and hold harmless the College, its employees and agents, from any claim, demand, liability, cause of action or suit for damages arising from a user's unacceptable use of EIRs, including, but not limited to, any loss of data stored on the Network.

 
Consequences of Inappropriate Use of EIRs:

Any action by a use that is determined to constitute an inappropriate or unacceptable use of the EIRs, as determined in the sole discretion of the College, may result in disciplinary action and/or loss of access to, or use of, the EIRs.  A user found in violation may have to reimburse the College for any losses, costs or damages, including attorney's fees, caused by the inappropriate use of the EIRs.

Reporting of EIR Violations:

Students should report violation of the EIRs to the Dean of Student Services.  Staff should report violation of the EIRs to the Director of Human Resources.

END OF POLICY

Legal Reference(s):

Children's Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. Sections 254 (h) and (l); 47 CFR Section 54.520 (2001).
Copyrights, Title 17, as amended, United States Code; 19 CFR Part 133 (2000).
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, Title II, Section 2441.


Cross Reference(s):

GBNAA/JFCFA - Cyberbullying
IIBGB - Web Pages